The EPPO reported that the indictment was filed after an investigation of active and passive corruption and abuse of office between 2018 and 2021.
All four cases are related to construction projects with a total value of €22.6 million and the damage to the EU budget was largely prevented thanks to the efficacy of the investigators, the EPPO said in a statement.
Corruption in Nova Gradiška
Mayor Grgić is being charged with accepting two bribes amounting to €15,000 from the first accused Krešo Petek in order to secure the assignment of two construction projects.
The two projects were for a recycling centre and a solar power plant. The first project was valued at €900,000, of which the amount of €562,000 was financed by the European Union Cohesion Fund, and the value of the second project was €700,000, of which 85% was funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Three other suspects were involved in these two corruption cases by helping Grgić and Petek in giving the bribes, abusing their office, and illegal favouritism in public procurement.
The recycling project was then awarded to companies connected to Petek who paid Grgić the agreed amount of the bribe.
This meant that the European Cohesion Fund was defrauded of €53,000 and the Town of Nova Gradiška of €32,500.
The solar power plant project was not awarded as Petek and the others accused had already been arrested.
Abuse of office in Velika Gorica
Petek is also accused of arranging with former Velika Gorica mayor Barišić for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant and a supervisory management system as well as for the renovation of the public lighting system to be awarded to his companies.
The estimated value for the wastewater treatment plant project was €14 million, of which the European Union Cohesion Fund financed 67.34%. The value of the renovation project of the public lighting system was €7 million and it was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
In these two cases, too, there were three accomplices who helped Barišić in abusing office and influence-peddling in public procurement procedures.
In both projects, although all necessary steps were taken in the public procurement process to select the companies connected to Petek, decisions to that effect were not made due to the arrest of all five accused persons, the EPPO reported.
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